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Thread: Dual booting Kali/Win10 - 4 primary partitions already taken

  1. #1
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    Dual booting Kali/Win10 - 4 primary partitions already taken

    Skip towards the end (the ~ 7th paragraph) to see only the short version of the question - everything else just describes the situation in more detail (sorry it's such a wall of text).

    Hello all. This is my first post on these forums so far. I signed up and posted my situation quickly, and then I'm going to search these forums. There are a couple of reasons why I didn't search these forums first: 1) I may have already searched them and just don't remember (I've been all over the web these last several days); 2) I guess I'm more nervous about the situation - it's not like the computer's going to blow up if the worst case scenario happens - I've done quite a bit of Win OS installs, but I've only done dual boot installs about 3 times I think (2-3 times for sure). My sensitive files and other data are backed up, but it'd still be a waste if I crashed the existing OS just because of a dumb mistake. 3) I'm also wanting to hear from any who've done what I'm going to do and have hands on experience dual booting - installing Kali-Linux on top of the existing OS (Windows10).

    The situation is that I have an HP laptop that came with Win7 pre-installed on it (That's what I assume anyway - it's what the sticker shows). I got curious about Linux again and wanted to check it out so I made a Kali-Linux live bootable USB to just check out the OS (it's come a looong way since around '2001'). After becoming sure that I would want to use Kali for maybe a year or more, and that a little flash drive was not large enough to hold all of the files and data that I'm liable to save on it, I decided that I want a dual booting set up on the machine between Win10 (existing OS) and Kali. It just makes sense to me for my needs because I'm going to learn way faster if I consistently boot to Kali and use it often, rather than only booting to the usb for some practice every so often.

    I've already attempted installing Kali once, but it did not take due to the partitioning scheme already using 4 primary partitions (it's an MBR-type HDD). I was alerted to that by an popup message during the Kali install's "partitioning" phase (that might not be the exact title of the window that I was on - I know it was either just after or shortly after the network configuration phase, probably still more towards the beginning of the install.
    The steps that were taken to get to the point of the above pargraph were: I shrank the C: from within Win10 using its "Disk Management" prog. The ~ 215GB block of unallocated space was what I was going to dedicate to the Kali-Linux OS (and the other ~ 215GB of free space to Windows). I then rebooted to make sure that all was well and the Win OS booted as it should. I then inserted the Kali live USB drive and rebooted to the Kali boot menu. I chose the graphical install option (I usually just choose the live USB with persistence option when I was just tinkering with it). I thought the install was going pretty well until I was alerted about the 4 primary partition rule (I think I vaguely remember something about that rule now, but it's been too long ago to be sure).

    So, where I'm at now is that my single hard drive (HDD) has a partitioning layout that looks like [see dmlayout.png]. The Kali-Live USB boot screen that I boot to looks like [see kllusb.png]. As mentioned before, I usually select the "Live USB Persistence" option when booting to the flash drive, but was going to do the install by selecting the "Graphical Install" option.

    Anyway, I've been searching and reading as much as I can find about my situation, and I've learned quite a bit and also refreshed my memory on a bunch of stuff that I was rusty on, except for how to get around that "4 primary partitions already installed" problem. That's how the laptop came from the factory, with the four primary partitions already installed (HP's surely smart enough to realize that a 3 primary partition + 1 extended partition would be a better setup - Hmmm, maybe they want more users to crash their system and maybe end up buying an extra hard drive or something).

    Finally, I get towards the heart of the question so that people don't have to deal with a wall of text anymore. anyway, I wasn't really sure in the beginning what my best course of action should be, but now I've decided that (if it'll work) I should probably use a third party program (like MiniTool Partition Wizard) to change the OS (C - 350.37 GB NTFS - Healthy (Boot, Page File, Crash Dump, Primary Partition) from a primary partition into a logical partition/drive. Then I was going to reboot Windows10, go into Disk Management and make the now unallocated 215 GB into an Extended partition...

    This seems to make the most sense to me out of all of the stuff that I've read so far, except that I'm not sure if changing that OS (C partition from primary to logical will make the (now fine) Windows10 OS unbootable or not?
    I've found about 3-4 guides that said this method works without a hitch, but I've also seen in one instance where the guide narrator said to just copy all of the boot files to the primary & active partition so that the Win10 OS would remain bootable? This is also another point where I get confused. I was under the impression that all is fine now, since windows10 boots up now, even though OS (C is not an active partition (only primary)? And then If I DO want to move the boot files to a primary partition so that the Win10 OS remains bootable (move the boot files from the "OS (C" partition to the "SYSTEM" partition), I'm not certain of exactly which files I should move and to where I should move them (is it just a simple matter of copying/pasting a folder full of files)?

    So, that's where I'm at now. I'm just unsure of how to proceed because it's been about 1.5 decades since I've had to remember any partitioning rules and I'm also tired from searching the web for anything I can find that's related to my particular situation. The fact that most of what I did find pertained specifically to Windows7 also makes me skeptical a bit, even though there's a Win7 sticker on my machine and I've seen several mentions that the same method works also for windows10.

    I guess if I had to sum my question up in just one direct and easy to understand question, it would be, "Will Windows10 still be bootable if I convert the OS (C partition from a primary partition into a logical drive? If there's anyone that was also in the same boat as me, please chime in with what you went with to get around this problem. Many many thanks in advance.

    AFTERTHOUGHT - I was reading the FAQ's and found that I left out the Kali version. The ISO that I am using is Kali 2017 32 bit (got it about 3 days ago). I believe the desktop is a GNOME architecture (I gather that from what I've read so far, but I could also be wrong).
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
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    MBR only supports 4 primary partitions and GPT supports 128 primary partition. You disk partition type is MBR so kali linux can't create one more primary partition. You can convert MBR into GPT and create primary partitions more than 4 or you can install kali in one of the 4 primary partitons.

  3. #3
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    I just now looked at the dmlayout.jpg pic that I attached in the OP. I didn't realize how small and illegible it was. I must've mistakenly altered its size or something because I can still view the original from Windows and it's legible and no where near as small (my apologies for that).

    The graphical representation in MS Windows Disk Management depicts the partition layout to be:
    1) SYSTEM, 199 MB NTFS, Healthy (System, Active, Primary Partition);
    2) OS (C, 350.37 GB NTFS, Healthy (Boot, Page File, Crash Dump, Primary Partition);
    3) 215.00 GB, Unallocated;
    4) RECOVERY (D, 30.50 GB NTFS, Healthy (Primary Partition);
    5) HP_TOOLS, 103 MB FAT32, Healthy (Primary Partition).

    The gparted version of the partition layout (attached as gp1.png) is:

    /dev/sda (596.17 GiB) v
    Partition File System Label Size Used Unused Flags
    -------------- ------------------ ------------- -------------- -------------- -------------- -----
    /dev/sda1 ntfs SYSTEM 199.00MiB 35.48MiB 163.52MiB boot
    /dev/sda2 ntfs OS 350.37GiB 139.52GiB 210.85GiB
    unallocated unallocated 215.00GiB --- ---
    /dev/sda3 ntfs RECOVERY 30.50GiB 26.03GiB 4.48GiB
    /dev/sda4 fat32 HP_TOOLS 103.34MiB 19.14MiB 84.19MiB lba
    unallocated unallocated 1.00MiB --- ---

    As soon as I seen how small that dmlayout.jpg pic was, I figured I had better put something up that was easier for people to read. I have a longer post about 3/4 of the way done that addresses the OP more, but this post is just a quick one to fix the problems with the readability of dmlayout.jpg.

    I've been booting up to the Kali Live USB with persistence for a couple of days now with no major issues. I was thinking to just format that 215GB of unallocated space as ext4 so that I can transfer data to it when the USB gets full. As far as I could tell, Minitool's Partition Wizard had the option available but I just didn't left click on the go button (I'd probably try it with Gparted first).
    Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Don't give a man a fish and feed yourself instead. He's a grown man. And fishing's not that hard.

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    gp1.png attachment

    I forgot to attach the image. Here it is. It's showing up as 65.6KB and 1595x461 (the size is correct on my end) on Kali.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Don't give a man a fish and feed yourself instead. He's a grown man. And fishing's not that hard.

  5. #5
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    You can install kali in that unallocated partition if you delete one primary partiton or merge 2 primary partition.
    Last edited by _defalt; 2017-05-10 at 08:52 PM.

  6. #6
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    You can install kali in that unallocated partition if you delete one primary partiton or merge 2 primary partition.
    - _defalt

    Yeah, that sort of thing is what first came to mind when I encountered the problem, but after about a dozen articles that I read, none of the three things that I was thinking seemed to prevail as being a consensus view. I think it was stated that two of the options would probably trash the Win10 OS. For instance, 2 or 3 people advocated deleting the RECOVERY partition; and another 2 or 3 people advocated deleting the HP_TOOLS partition. In all of those 4-6 cases, the people said that it worked for them. But, I also seen about as many posts warning against messing with those two partitions in any way... I can't recall the exact content of those articles now, but it was something to the effect of then being unable to use HP_TOOLS (if its partition was deleted) or make a decent recovery of the Windows system without first making recovery cd's (if the RECOVERY partition was deleted).

    I don't believe that I seen any mention of merging both the RECOVERY & the HP_TOOLS partitions together. Before looking online about how to deal with it at all, I had thought that I vaguely remembered to delete the HP_TOOLS partition, but after reading a few negative opinions about it I started to doubt my memory (It was a long time ago).

    @ _defalt - what do you suppose the effects might be of doing each of the following three options:

    1) Delete the HP_TOOLS partition? I don't remember ever having to use any HP tools. This partition might have been the one that I used to sacrifice first. I always had access to a clean OS install disc, so that I didn't worry too much if a system got broken or not.

    2) Delete the RECOVERY partition? Again, I'm not sure but I'd guess that this partition might be a little more important than the HP_TOOLS partition.

    3) Merge both the HP_TOOLS and the RECOVERY partitions together? Merging both of them together seems to make sense, because then if I needed any info from either of them if the computer failed and I didn't have any recovery cd's (which I probably won't), I could use some kind've bootable media (cd or usb) to at least boot to the HDD and grab any files that I needed. Heck, it didn't even occur to me until just now to look into if these newer Windows OSes are even bootable to such media.

    Which option do you think would be the best way to go out of those, _defalt?

    ===

    I just did get an external HDD that be large enough for a decade or two. I've been booting to Kali live for the last few days. It's not filling up as quick as I thought it would, even with all of the tutorials and beginners stuff that I've been downloading (command references, etc). I was thinking that if it'll work, I might just create a large ext4 partition on it and then move all of the transferrable data from the USB to the external HDD when I need to recover more space on the USB. That might not work though... I thought that I read somewhere that an external HDD wouldn't take either an ext4 filesystem or a GPT partitioning scheme (I forget which one it was - definitely have to read more before I try that).

    I guess for as big as it is, I could put an ISO of the entire computer's HDD (with the Win10 OS) on the external HDD, and then I would'nt have to be so squeamish about mucking up the Win10 install.
    Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Don't give a man a fish and feed yourself instead. He's a grown man. And fishing's not that hard.

  7. #7
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    Before you go to any conclusion lets find out what HP tools drive contains. It has 89MB of data out of 104MB so something must be there which is worth taking backup of. Boot into kali live and run mount /dev/sda4 /mnt. Then go to /mnt folder and see what it has. Also upload the screenshot of its contents. Don't upload screenshot here, its resolution is too small to read. Upload on any free to upload site and paste the link here.

    I don't recommend to erase RECOVERY partition. It contains factory image of your OS along with the proprietary softwares and customized drivers by HP. So if anything happens to your PC you can factory reset it to the point when you first time started your PC. Fresh install of Windows 10 doesn't give you all those proprietary softwares and customized drivers and you have to download them manually. So keeping recovery has an advantage than fresh installation of windows 10. Though i prefer backup of recovery in an external hard disk so that i can use complete space of my hard disk. In fact i've cloned my recovery partition into an external hard disk.

    You can't merge FAT32 partition with NTFS.

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    Okay, I made an Imgur account (for posting pics) earlier, and I'm almost through with the reply. I will hopefully be able to post it a couple of hours after noon today.
    Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Don't give a man a fish and feed yourself instead. He's a grown man. And fishing's not that hard.

  9. #9
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    It is best to use only kali linux rather than dual booting

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigLoser View Post
    It is best to use only kali linux rather than dual booting
    Games are also precious after programming.

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